Updates for Humanities Indicators

Over the past few months, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has been active inAmerican_Academy_of_Arts_and_Sciences_logo-prv its support for the humanities, with new reports on the employment status and earnings of humanities majors, the financial health of not-for-profit humanities organizations, metrics on the qualifications of school teachers, international comparisons of levels of adult literacy, and trends in public reading rates.

Key findings:

  • In 2013, the median annual earnings for humanities majors were $50,000 for those who held only a bachelor’s degree and $71,000 for those with an advanced degree (in any field). Both amounts were $7,000 below the median for graduates from all fields with similar degree attainment (but still well above the median of $42,000 for all U.S. workers).
  • The salary differential between humanities majors and graduates from most other fields shrinks with time in the workforce.
  • Humanities majors had somewhat higher rates of unemployment than graduates from all fields. The gap in unemployment narrows with time in the workforce and an advanced degree.
  • A comparatively large share of humanities graduates go into education-related occupations—especially among those with terminal bachelor’s degrees, where humanities majors are second only to education graduates.
  •  Among the 42% of undergraduate humanities majors who had gone on to earn an advanced degree, workers were more evenly distributed across occupational categories than majors in most of the other fields.
  • Revenues of humanities not-for profits have largely recovered from recession, but not all organizations survived.
  •  Less than 70% of students in each of several types of high school humanities classes were taught by a teacher with both a college major in the subject and state certification to teach it.
  •  While a growing number of recent humanities PhDs report their research was “interdisciplinary,” most confined their work within the humanities.
  •  The median time to PhD for students who paid for their education with personal savings or employer support was two years longer than the median for those who relied on scholarships, grants, and assistantships.
  •  An international study finds that literacy and occupational skill levels are highly correlated.

New in the Academy Data Forum:                                                                       

  • Christine Henseler (Union College) argues for a more expansive view of the value of the humanities.John Dichtl (American Association for State and Local History) and
  • Carole Rosenstein (George Mason University) discuss gaps in what we know about humanities nonprofits.
  • Barbara Cambridge National Council for Teachers of English) and Nancy McTygue (California History-Social Science Project) fill in gaps between the numbers on teacher on teacher credentials and classroom experience.
  • Jamie Carroll and Chandra Muller (University of Texas at Austin) assess what recent changed in the intended majors of college-bound seniors might portend for the humanities.


  •  The Lincoln Project releases a new publication to examine state funding of higher education and describes challenges that state governments face. (And in case you missed it, the first Lincoln Project publication was Public Research Universities: Why They Matter.
  •  50 years of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)In response to a bipartisan Congressional request, the Academy is initiating the first national study on foreign language learning in more than 30 years.
  •  We are pleased to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities—a vital sponsor for our work. The co-chair of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities, Richard H. Brodhead (Duke Univ.), delivered the keynote address “On the Fate and Fortunes of Public Goods” at a symposium commemorating the event.

Central Indiana Community Foundation helps Herron’s art therapy program produce a skilled and in-demand workforce

UntitledJob placement is 100 percent for the first cohort of eight graduate students who earned a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Herron School of Art and Design this May, said Juliet King, program director and professor of Art Therapy. Launched only two years ago, the program has developed vigorously, in large part due to philanthropic support from individuals and foundations.

The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, put its support into bringing together Herron students—who must complete 1,000 hours of supervised, clinical training as part of their degrees requirements—and community members who can benefit from art therapy services.

Herron’s Art Therapy program is one of only 34 two-year, full-time, residential programs in the country—offering graduate art therapy education in preparation for the dual credentials of Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

Herron currently is working with nearly 30 community organizations to pair its art therapy students with programs that serve youths, adults, the aged and other vulnerable populations. Qualified professionals must supervise Herron’s students in a clinical setting. That requires investment.

Andrew Black, a grants officer of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, said “The Art Therapy grant was in alignment with The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund because it promotes the making of art and provides important health and social services to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people of all ages, many of whom are dealing with significant physical and/or mental health challenges.”

Frank began work at Eli Lilly and Company in 1937. He and his wife, Irving, became incredibly generous philanthropists. Both are now deceased, but their fund, established in 1998, will continue in perpetuity as they wished.

King said, “It’s exciting to see the full cycle of the impact of the program. We are helping children and adults cope with illness, injury and trauma while the graduate students gain the academic experience necessary to become a trained professional and contribute to the workforce of Indiana and beyond.” She added, “We are grateful to the Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund and CICF for the assistance in successfully developing the program.”

The program’s first eight graduates are Linda Adeniyi, Uriah Graham, Amy Granger, Katherine Hearn, Amanda Krieger, Heidi Moffat, Hillary Timmerman and Natalie Wallace. These alumni were hired by providers including Adult & Child Community Mental Health, MENTOR Network, Midtown Community Mental Health, Season’s Hospice, Legacy House, Meridian Health Services and Gallaudet University that provide school- and home-based counseling, health therapy and hospice care.

Nine students are projected to graduate in 2015 and 13 in 2016.

Black added, “Not only does this therapy provide counselors, therapists, or case workers with an additional and often times necessary alternative method for communication, it also provides some of our most vulnerable populations with a creative outlet that promotes self-expression, increases their ability to cope with their circumstances or challenges, and ultimately aids in their rehabilitative progress and contributes to their quality of life.”

To learn more about supporting Herron’s Art Therapy Program, contact Kim Hodges, Office of Development, by email or by phone at 317-278-9472.